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How did GitHub fare against the largest DDoS attack ever?



How did GitHub fare against the largest DDoS attack ever?

It’s known that developers aren’t really fond of hackers. The news is out: GitHub was hit with a massive DDoS attack. The likes of which are shown in series like Mr. Robot. We know what you’re thinking; is GitHub okay? The answer is a resounding “yes”.

GitHub is a website for developers by developers that was founded in 2008. It holds repositories of source code for millions of open source and proprietary software and code libraries. Though its been nearly ten years since launch, it hasn’t showed any signs of stepping down from its position of being the most used source code management system.

After fewer than ten minutes of being offline, GitHub got back up, brushed off its shoulders, and got back to business. For all the ins and outs and specifics about the attack, head over to our sister site: But what exactly is a DDoS attack?

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is very commonly used by hackers to take websites down. You might have seen a rendition of this in the acclaimed series: Mr. Robot. It’s a word that’s thrown around very frequently. Though it’s the most common technique used, a lot of people don’t know what exactly it means.

Whenever you visit a website, your browser makes a request to the website’s server for the webpage so your browser can let you view it. Now, what happens if a server got millions of requests per second? The server crashes and the website isn’t accessible for anyone. Though millions of requests might be an exaggeration, the idea is pretty much representative of the basics of a DDoS attack.

How do websites overcome this? Well, whenever you send that request, you have to tell the server who you are. If the same request comes multiple times from the same IP in an inhumanly short period of time, the server denies the request. Though hackers overcome this by swapping IPs, usually most websites use some sort of protection against DDoS attacks provided by third parties, including this one.

But every once in a while, an attack of this scale happens and there’s usually nothing you can do after the site goes down other than admit defeat. Gitub is capable to handling 5 times the traffic that caused the last attack of this proportion. The attack on Dyn in October 2016, clocked in 1.2 Tbps. GitHub in comparison handled with 1.35 Tbps, the largest attack till date. And it remains unscathed.

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